Trinity College Dublin

(27 Posts)
Travelledtheworld Sat 13-May-17 22:51:50

Can anyone explain entrance requirements for TCD for an English student. DS is interested in studying Theoretical Physics.
Looking at the website they seem to want a minimum of B grade GCSE A level Maths or Physics. Is this all ? How do Irish Education standards compare with English and Scottish S levels/Higher's ?
I see this is a four year degree. So Is an Irish University degree more comlarable with a Scottish university ?
Any random comments most welcome.

OP’s posts: |
DramaAlpaca Sun 14-May-17 00:56:00

Hi, I'll have a look at this and come back to you tomorrow - too late for me to research it properly tonight! I went through the English system myself and my DC have been educated in Ireland, so I have a reasonable idea of how both education systems work.

What I can tell you quickly is that Trinity is extremely competitive to get into for Irish students, it is very popular and requires really high Leaving Certificate scores compared to many other universities. They will want a lot more than just a B grade in A Level Maths or Physics, I suspect, but I'll have a look tomorrow.

Yes, the Irish Leaving Cert has more in common with the Scottish system than A levels. Irish educational standards are very high and require students to have a broader knowledge at a slightly lower level than for A levels. Students take 7 subjects for Leaving Certificate - English, Irish & Maths are compulsory, plus four others. One LC subject is roughly equivalent to two thirds of an A level.

Honours degrees are four years because there isn't as much specialism in the Leaving Certificate as there is at A level. There is a huge drop out rate during first year compared to UK universities, in some Irish unis it is over 20%. The serious stuff doesn't start until second year, and degrees are certainly as good & well respected as any British university.

It might be worth noting that Dublin is a very expensive city for students to live in due to accommodation costs, and most of them have to live a long commute away from their place of study.

Travelledtheworld Sun 14-May-17 09:19:28

Thanks DramaAlpaca I shall look forward to you sharing your experiences.

OP’s posts: |
PeterhouseMS Sun 14-May-17 19:46:46

University courses in Ireland are allocated strictly on points.

The points cutoff required for Theoretical Physics in TCD was around 560 points in previous years but is likely to increase due to increasing demand.

Your DS will need four subjects at A-level.

A* A* A* will not be enough as this accumulates just 540 points.

A* A* AA hits exactly 560 points but will probably not be enough.

An A* A* A* A, at 590 points, will give him an excellent chance of being accepted.

PeterhouseMS Sun 14-May-17 19:58:32

Actually, one of his subjects could possibly be at AS level.

An A* A* A* plus A (AS) will give him 570 points and a reasonably good chance of being accepted.

DisappearingFish Sun 14-May-17 20:52:14

TCD graduate here 20 years ago grin it's an amazing place and I couldn't recommend it enough. Best of luck to your DD.

DisappearingFish Sun 14-May-17 20:52:35

Sorry, DS blush


chipmonkey Sun 14-May-17 21:04:59

Generally, in the literature for uni places in Ireland they state the minimum requirements that can be accepted. However the points system means that in reality, the results you get will need to be much better than the bare minimum because the people with the highest points will be offered the place first. Trinity is a very popular university so the points are always high. Irish students who have a specific learning disability such as ADD or dyslexia can apply to get into their desired course on fewer points but you need to supply a lot of supporting evidence of the disability and you're not guaranteed to get into that scheme.

B1rdinthebush Sun 14-May-17 21:10:43

I'm from London and graduated from TCD 10 years ago (studied history).

As a PP said, entry is based on a points system through CAO. I also agree that Dublin is very expensive for students and also that your son won't be eligible for a student loan. So you will either need to finance his studies entirely or he will most certainly need to work.

DramaAlpaca Sun 14-May-17 22:48:44

Sorry I haven't been back, my laptop is refusing to work so I'm having to use my phone & I can't browse too well on it. Everyone above has said what I'd have said anyway, you've had some good advice. Good luck to your DS.

Travelledtheworld Sun 14-May-17 23:40:42

Hi everyone and thanks for your very helpful comments.
Wow. Tough entrance requirements.
He is studying 4 A levels. Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Politics.
Is capable of getting A for all of these, but A* for further maths is very tough.
Also has an A grade for AS additional maths so that might help.
Looks as though it might be easier to get into Oxford, now that Manchester has overtaken it in the popularity stakes for Physics.

I had already realised we would be paying fees, and maintenance. Though he has some savings to add to it, and has a job now.

OP’s posts: |
user7214743615 Mon 15-May-17 07:37:29

Looks as though it might be easier to get into Oxford, now that Manchester has overtaken it in the popularity stakes for Physics.

Huh? Not true at all. Very few people turn down Oxbridge for non-Oxbridge places in the UK. Beware that the application numbers are not actually a very good guide to popularity, as students can choose 5 options. A better guide is the percentage of offers that are accepted.

TCD is popular for undergraduates but it is not in the same league (research wise) as the top UK physics departments. If he wants to carry on in physics - and many physics students do - then UK departments such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, Manchester,.... are more valued.

Needmoresleep Mon 15-May-17 07:45:45

It is obviously worth checking entry requirements on the University website.

We looked at Irish Universities when DD was applying for medicine. She liked the idea of studying there, and though grade requirements were higher, the process was much simpler. None of the flogging through volunteering/shadowing, MMIs, PS's, references etc. Just grades and the aptitude test, and with a good history of Irish doctors being employed in the UK.

Things will have changed but as well as offering 4 A levels, DD would have needed to sit most if not all of her GCSEs in one sitting, and to offer a GCSE MFL. There were some useful Student Room threads. In the end she decided she would leave the application to her gap year, should she not get an English place first.

It is not a huge surprise that entry requirements are high in sciences other than medicine. Certainly for medicine it was clear that as well as British students, Ireland was attracting large numbers from the EU, North America and elsewhere. Trinity has a good international reputation, relatively low fees, a relatively short course, English language, a simple application process, and compared with some European systems, a low failure rate.

I have no idea about the quality of the course, but the feedback we got was that it would be fun to study in Ireland.

B1rdinthebush Mon 15-May-17 10:34:59

I agree that the application process is far simpler than UCAS so I wouldn't agree that it would be easier to get into Oxford.

Studying in Ireland is fun but student culture is not really as it is in the UK. For example, there aren't really student property let's like there are in places like Leeds or Manchester. As such, students have to rent on the normal market and thus pay far higher rents than they would here in the UK. When I was there (bear in mind this was ten years ago so it may have changed) there weren't really student nights or a particularly exciting SU scene. There's the Buttery and the Pav at TCD but they didn't have the vibrancy of SUs over here.

DramaAlpaca Mon 15-May-17 11:11:47

What B1rd says about the student culture in Ireland is true. Many students live at home while studying because rent is so expensive. Also, probably for the same reason, students often go to the university nearest their home rather than moving to a different city, there isn't the culture of choosing to study somewhere far from home that there is in the UK.

PeterhouseMS Mon 15-May-17 11:48:49

I agree with user above to a certain extent.

Trinity College Dublin is now a member of LERU, the League of European Research Universities as are Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, and UCL. I would rate these four universities much higher than TCD.

However, TCD could well overtake many RG universities due to its membership of LERU. I would also rate the four universities listed above far more highly than Manchester which is not a member of LERU.

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 15-May-17 12:57:21

My DD has decided she wants to go to Trinity. It's all about the points though.

user7214743615 Mon 15-May-17 13:33:49

I would also rate the four universities listed above far more highly than Manchester which is not a member of LERU.

Even for physics?

I doubt that TCD is going to progress too far in my own subject any time soon, given (a) lack of research funding in Ireland and issues with the way the funding is distributed (i.e. biases towards specific research areas) and (b) lack of hiring of top international staff.

DisappearingFish Mon 15-May-17 17:57:11

Studying in Ireland is fun but student culture is not really as it is in the UK.

Shock horror, foreign country has different culture to UK. hmm

GaelicSiog Mon 15-May-17 18:21:31

I went to TCD. Naming what I studied will out me, but it's a brilliant place. I'm afraid I have no experience of UK universities to compare it to though.

Travelledtheworld Mon 15-May-17 21:06:56

Many thanks again folks for your comments. All very helpful and interesting.

Just to clarify, user . Last year my sons school headmaster told me that Manchester was more popular than Oxford for Physics ( in terms of applications) becuse of the Brian Cox effect. So that's what provoked my comment about Manchester v Oxford. Nothing to do with people turning down Oxford to go to Manchester....

My son is very quiet, focused and studious. Not really a party person. So not sure if the lack of party scene would worry him particularly.
He tells me he doesn't like big cities.....and has immediately ruled out Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, UCL, Imperial etc.

Loves history too but he dropped that when he found 5 A levels was a bit hard going..... sigh.

He's also a bit of a whizz at debating.....< pours a gin and back to Oxbridge prospectuses>.

OP’s posts: |
B1rdinthebush Mon 15-May-17 21:46:40

Bit uncalled for DisappearingFish.

My point is that if you're looking for cheap student rental flats and student nights selling €1 drinks, you're not going to get it in Ireland. I didn't for one minute suggest that was a bad thing.

GaelicSiog Mon 15-May-17 21:50:02

I lived at my parents throughout my time at TCD, for what it's worth. That may well be a culture thing.

DisappearingFish Mon 15-May-17 22:13:26

Apologies B1rd that came out sharper than I intended.

Ireland is a tiny country. You can drive the length of it in a day. The total population is half that of London. There are over 2 million students in the U.K. and around 150k in Ireland. So of course it's different.

DisappearingFish Tue 16-May-17 06:53:35

Two great debating societies at TCD - the Hist and the Phil btw.

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